MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. NBC journalist Matt Bradley claimed on Thursday citing adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister Anton Gerashchenko that the Russian troops landed in Odessa in southwestern Ukraine.
"[Russian] troopers have landed in Odessa and are crossing the border into Kharkiv where I am now, according to Anton Herashchenko, advisor to #Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior," the journalist claimed on his Twitter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported later on Thursday that the Russian troops were not delivering strikes against Ukrainian cities. It emphasized that the Ukrainian military infrastructure was being destroyed by precision weapons.